Playbill

nelo CD release

Austin newcomers nelo's press kit helpfully points that the sextet's names rhymes with "hello." A much better homophone would be "mellow," because their self-titled debut is about as chill as an October afternoon in Wisconsin without any long underwear on. Saturated in acoustic guitars, breezy horns and silky come-ons, nelo seems destined to draw the adoration of comely young coeds and the scorn of so-called "serious" music fans in equal measure.

nelo dates back to songwriter/lyricist Matt Ragland and singer Reid Umstattd's summer-camp experiences at Camp Longhorn, which shows in several songs' strummy kum-ba-yah campfire choruses. The rhythm and horn sections, meanwhile, obviously didn't miss too many jazz classes at Denton's University of North Texas – they devise several suprisingly salient Stax-like licks. Overall, though, the music is too slight and the songs too cliched - in "Another Day" Ragland's lyrics aspire to "spread some sunshine around" - for the album to make much of an impact beyond the carefree circle of Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews and G. Love fans, who will no doubt bask in its sunny-day vibe to their hearts' content. - Chris Gray

7 p.m. Friday, May 9, at Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
John Nova Lomax
Contact: John Nova Lomax